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What do you think of the trajectory of Shpongle's output?

What do you think of the trajectory of Shpongle's output?  

27 members have voted

  1. 1. What do you think of the trajectory of Shpongle's output?

    • It has gone downhill since the blissful first two albums
      16
    • All the albums are different, but equally good
      11
    • Shpongle have got better and better, more creative
      0


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acid-brain    105

Simon Posford said somewhere that he was unlikely to release Hallucinogen 3 since people's perceptions of it would be affected too much by their expectations, based on the old classic albums. No matter what he makes, people would be likely to compare it unfavourably with LSD. We can definitely see this in the case of Shpongle too, with multiple users comparing Shpongle's newest albums unfavourably with AYS? and Tales of the Inexpressible. Artists like Posford hate feeling constrained by this expectation, and want to have creative freedom, which is one of the reasons why he and other electronic artists work under so many different names and side-projects.

Still, I'm interested to hear what you think of the 'trajectory' of Shpongle's output. I don't think many people would claim that an artist should release material similar to their old stuff - we have no right to limit an artist's expression - and yet everywhere there is the unspoken assumption that Shpongle are drifting away from the brilliance of their early output, and that this is bad, and that we want more Tales of the Inexpressible etc. Lots of others oppose this pessimistic view, and claim that Shpongle's new material is different, but equal, and maybe more fun/danceable or whatever.

 

Shpongle are a good project to focus these questions on, because they're so original and somehow so personal to their listeners that everybody feels like they should be able to have a say about what it means to them to be 'Shpongled'. Answer honestly please, ie. don't just say 'different but equal' because you'd like to believe that, even when you really feel that the standard of Shpongle's music has slipped from the mindblowing transcendence that it started from. Just interested to hear other's thoughts on this whole issue.

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Anoebis    399

Downhill, the first album is FANTASTIC, a milestone, the second is super nice, the third was still good, since then only 2 tracks on each album is really good imo...

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johnb820    156

It occurred not to long ago to me that I was hearing basically identical production styles between Hallucinogen and Shpongle to be honest, The Lone Deranger being the most creative thing he has ever made, and Ineffable Mysteries being the best set of compositions he has ever written. Each album is unique in their own way though. The sheer scope of Shpongle's work covers so much, so many genres, so many different influences, but it's always been deciphered through Simon's interpretation of 3 dimensional space when he mixes.

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psytones    98

Shpongle still sounds Shpongle. The latest output, no matter the taste, is amazing when it comes to production.

 

I would LOVE to hear and own a third Hallucinogen album in the sonic vain of his first two album releases.

 

You know, same same but different.

 

imho

 

 

PS. I voted "All the albums are different, but equally good " but would have voted both that and "Shpongle have got better and better, more creative". Just remove the "more creative". Even though the new album has some incredible sonic manipulations. Tastes aside. Inside <3 Taste

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Paul Eye    451

To be honest, I never even expected Simon and Raj to release a second Shpongle album back then, and I still fail to see what's so remarkable about Tales. Nothing Lasts was much better in fusing the acoustic with the electronic and keeping a coherent atmosphere throughout the entire album. After that it's been more or less a steady decline with the latest album falling flat on its face. It has even less of an idea what it wants to be than Tales. So to sum it up, here's my personal Shpongle top 10:

 

1. Are You Shpongled?

2. Are You Shpongled?

3. Are You Shpongled?

4. Are You Shpongled?

5. Nothing Lasts... But Nothing Is Lost

6. Nothing Lasts... But Nothing Is Lost

7. Ineffable Mysteries From Shpongleland

8. Tales of the Inexpressible

9. The God Particle

10. Museum of Consciousness

 

:)

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Shpongled247    72

Well, this is something i always thought I would never say, but honestly downhill after the third album.

 

Perhaps only because for me they reached peaks still yet unmatched, set the bar a bit too high to start with. But for that I can't blame them hah.

 

My favourite group and possibly musical "thing" in this world and has given me a thousand lifetimes of blissful, poignant, endearing moments...

 

In the end i can still hear Simons magic and Raja story inspiration shine through and that's what matters. I'm just glad to be still hearing Simons work at all. <3

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Richpa    900

AYS is still my favorite album and IMO, the most psychedelic one. TOTI & NLBNIL are also great, but AYS got some kind of magic which makes simple things sound so wonderful and deep and it can't be found in any next Shpongle record. IMFS was average but listenable and MOC was..bleh.at least it sounded bad to my ears and it didn't grow on me after next couple of listenings.

Some people will like the new stuff for sure, but from my side it's definetley a downfall (not on the production-side of things, but from the creative side of things).

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Panoptes    45

First album is overrated. Two three and four are good. Five has one good track(futher adventures in shpongleland) and two ok tracks

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abasio    228

Honestly, downhill.

But AYS was so good and TOTI a great follow up that it would have been too hard to live up to anyway but still they released them 3 more times so I really don't see why the excuse for not releasing Hallucinogen 3 is viable even when I agree with it :P

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healium    9

Definitely gone downhill as of late - sounds like they're trying to appeal to a broader crowd and/or make the music more show/dance friendly - but the result just comes off as a bit random and disorganized, with elements thrown together and changes that don't really flow well.. Certainly it has lost the epic psychedelic storytelling of the first couple albums..

 

Wish Shulman would release another album - it's been 6 years since his last one..

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technosomy    233

i love all the albums, they are unique in their own way.

i think simon and raj once said, shpongle was originally only meant to be heard personally through headphones etc, and they never intended to do it live.

as they got more and more popular, they kind of compromised that.

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Paul Eye    451

Wish Shulman would release another album

FWIW, they've also been in steady decline, after In Search Of A Meaningful Moment. I didn't like the live album at all :/

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Dolmot    152

A bumpy ride.

  • AYS: Largely defined the whole act. Sounds like SP and RR rocking it in an opium den with aliens and everything that is cool in this world and beyond.
  • TotI: Never liked this one that much. Some cool tracks but too bouncy in its flow. Also the world music elements didn't feel fitting back then, compared to the first album.
  • NLbNIL: The first half is legendary. The second half loses the momentum and I usually skip the rest at some point. Nevertheless, it was probably the first album of any kind I bought on both CD and vinyl so it cannot be entirely bad.
  • IMfS: Liner notes of I Am You: "The chorus was originally sang by the computer, but it sounded a little soulless, so Serena and I re-sang it, but we are both appalling vocalists and eventually called Hari Om to complete the job properly." There are just so many things wrong in this picture. Anyway, several good tracks. It's just heavy on world, vocals, instrument solos and romance instead of rocking in an opium den.
  • MoC: Liked it a lot. However, I got a very unusual first impression as I was doing some heavy work and listened to this about five times in a row at night until sunrise, and then a few more times that week. It got the job done. Then I had memorised it completely and didn't listen again in a long time. I find it has more weirdness and less romance again.

So my curve would be roughly an up-down-up-down-up sawtooth, although not exactly regular. Yeah, the latest ones have been very carefully produced but a bit live/hit oriented. Unique sounds are cool, some dude banging a drum kit is not so cool. But I still think the sound has evolved, instead of nose-dived like some other artists' output around the fifth album. Bought the latest in both formats again...

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radi6404    29

for me it hasn´t gone downhill. All albums are different but equally good. Some tracks contain too much vocals or singing for me taste but then there are other tracks that are just something, that only Simon Posford can achieve. Any Shpongole album I have heart, without The God particle, has some of those tracks. Shpongolese spken here is a track that only Simon Posford can produce, at least in this scene. The track is so beautiful, warm, harmonic and psychedelic that it simply is one of the best moments of music I have ever heart. Only other tracks by Simon Posford like Dorset Perception, Shpongleyes or Inefable mysteries are equally good. He is and will be a genius of music and for me has proven it even with the latest Shpongole album, except that I find the production quality a bit strange, but apart from it is all there.

 

People who say he tries to makemusic for a wider audience, I don´t understand them. Even if his music has gone slightly downhill, which it did not, it is still way ahead of other ambient produced these days, or can anyone point out music that is similarily harmonic, warm and diverse like Shpongolese Spoken here. No, he can´t, because it is impossible to find any track by another ambient artist that has the diversity, the warmth and the harmonics of Shponglese Spoken here. Only folk music artists who are producing music for many years can produce such a beautiful peace of music, for example Spain or Portugeuese musicians with their beautiful guitars. a lot of psychedelic ambient and chillout sounds good to us, as we are fans of that music, but is not comprehensible for people outside the scene. The beautiful, warm, and harmonic sound of Shpongle however is comprehensible to many people, because the music just sounds much more complete than a lot of the ambient that is released.

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Manuser    259

I consider Ineffable Mysteries to be at least as good as any other album. Museum of consciousness is extremely psychedelic.

Only album I am not too fond of is Nothing Lasts.

While I voted the second option, I think Shpongle's music has became more and more interesting and creative with time.

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Suttree    23

I truly love Shpongle's ability to change and reinvent. I go even further saying that for me it is one major point for loving one artist. Also Entheogenic has been changing a lot over time, always producing great music, and that's amazing.

While I reckon that AYS is and will ever be an insuperable milestone, I also love everything that came from Shpongle thereafter.The point is, genius moves, can't stay still.

Cheers

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technosomy    233

update... still love them, and i dream of one day to see the live group in it's entirety

been listening to live at roundhouse alot lately, imo one of the best live shows i have ever heard

all you here (and there are alot) who saw that show are very lucky to have witnessed it....

now all that is left are represses of all their albums on vinyl.... box set perhaps would be divine

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technosomy    233

for me it hasn´t gone downhill. All albums are different but equally good. Some tracks contain too much vocals or singing for me taste but then there are other tracks that are just something, that only Simon Posford can achieve. Any Shpongole album I have heart, without The God particle, has some of those tracks. Shpongolese spken here is a track that only Simon Posford can produce, at least in this scene. The track is so beautiful, warm, harmonic and psychedelic that it simply is one of the best moments of music I have ever heart. Only other tracks by Simon Posford like Dorset Perception, Shpongleyes or Inefable mysteries are equally good. He is and will be a genius of music and for me has proven it even with the latest Shpongole album, except that I find the production quality a bit strange, but apart from it is all there.

 

People who say he tries to makemusic for a wider audience, I don´t understand them. Even if his music has gone slightly downhill, which it did not, it is still way ahead of other ambient produced these days, or can anyone point out music that is similarily harmonic, warm and diverse like Shpongolese Spoken here. No, he can´t, because it is impossible to find any track by another ambient artist that has the diversity, the warmth and the harmonics of Shponglese Spoken here. Only folk music artists who are producing music for many years can produce such a beautiful peace of music, for example Spain or Portugeuese musicians with their beautiful guitars. a lot of psychedelic ambient and chillout sounds good to us, as we are fans of that music, but is not comprehensible for people outside the scene. The beautiful, warm, and harmonic sound of Shpongle however is comprehensible to many people, because the music just sounds much more complete than a lot of the ambient that is released.

awsome to see my nemesis and i agreeing for a change, even if was those years ago.... radi.... you still lurking?????

come back... we miss you

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I think I still like the first 3 the best, but part of that might just be Nostalgia and the fact it was a new sound at the time. I wouldn't really say his new stuff has gone "downhill" though since it's still quite good IMO. I agree with johnb though, nothing will ever top The Lone Deranger.

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abasio    228

I still love Are You Shpongled?

The others are good but not as good. Even Tales...

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